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Major grain traders snub GM canola

1.Major grain traders snub GM canola
2.Non-GM canola fetches price premium over GM
3.Major grain traders snub GM canola

NOTE: According to an article in the Australian publication the Countryman, "Two of Australia's biggest grain traders say they have no plans to take genetically modified canola this season" (item 3). Meanwhile South Australia's non-GM canola is fetching significantly higher prices than GM canola in Victoria where it's allowed to be grown (item 2). "It's insane to grow a GM crop that no-one in their right mind wants to eat" (item 1).
1.Major grain traders snub GM canola
Gene Ethics Media Release, 27 May 2011

European and Australian demand for GM-free grain is so strong that leading grain traders Elders-Toepfer and Glencore Grain refuse to buy any genetically manipulated (GM) canola this year. And traders that buy GM will only pay up to $45/tonne less than for non-GM grain.

"This market is a bonanza for the majority of Australian grain growers who wisely stayed with non-GM canola varieties," says Gene Ethics Director, Bob Phelps.

"Ninety five per cent of Western Australia's canola sold to Europe last year and strong demand is expected to continue, but only for non-GM. European shoppers have zero tolerance for GM canola.

"WA's Agriculture Minister Terry Redman lifted the ban on GM canola, against the wishes of most farmers and shoppers. Unless he reimposes the GM ban, GM contamination and loss of our GM-free markets is inevitable.

"Already one organic grower with GM canola contamination has been decertified. All non-GM growers and supply chains are at risk if Redman persists with his crazy commitment to GM at any cost.

"The law requires him to protect markets for all farmers, not only those he has backed to plant GM varieties, without any rules or regulations. He has failed miserably and should resign.

"We gained favoured access to the European canola market in 1999 when Canada began to grow GM but now we are set to lose our competitive advantage if the Minister refuses to act.

"GM canola segregation has failed everywhere it has been tried. After only one year of commercial GM canola in WA there is still time to become GM-free again,

"South Australia, Tasmania, the ACT and Northern Territory have retained their GM-free policies and other states should again ban polluting GM canola, for marketing reasons.

"It's insane to grow a GM crop that no-one in their right mind wants to eat," Mr Phelps concludes.

Media contacts

Vivienne Reiner - Gene Ethics Media Officer T: 02 9440 3545 (M&Tues) or 0432 352 132
Bob Phelps - Director, T: 03 9347 4500 or 0449 769 066
2.Non-GM canola fetches price premium over GM
ABC, 26/05/2011

South Australia non-genetically modified canola is fetching higher prices than GM canola in Victoria.

Grain market analyst Malcolm Bartholomeaus says importers from Europe and Japan are seeking out non-GM canola, which is resulting in a price difference of $46 a tonne.

"I think canola coming out of states that allow GM canola can't guarantee 100 per cent that there won't be any cross-contaminations, so they just simply prefer South Australian canola.

He also says the canola prices in South Australia are also higher than non-GM canola prices in Victoria.

"I think it's probably associated with this contamination issue and therefore a preference for South Australian canola."

Overall, new season canola prices have hit $630 a tonn which is high relative to Winnipeg futures.

He says it's due to planting delays in Canada and a smaller rapeseed crop in China

"Also the drought in Europe will mean it will be a significant importer of canola.
3.Major grain traders snub GM canola
Haidee Vandenberghe
Countryman, May 26 2011,

Two of Australia’s biggest grain traders say they have no plans to take genetically modified canola this season.

Elders-Toepfer Grain acting WA accumulations manager Ben Noll said the company was not currently taking GM canola and that was unlikely to change as the season progressed.

“From where we sit at the moment, we’re all non-GM, ” he said.

“We’re in the process of being involved in certification for the sustainability of canola products.”

Under the European Union Renewable Energy Directive, canola for the European premium-paying biofuel market requires International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC), which means sustainably produced canola is in and GM canola is out.

Glencore Grain, both Australia and WA’s second-biggest grain exporter, is not taking GM canola either ”” at least for the moment.

The company is also in the midst of ISCC.

Glencore Grain State manager Rob Haddrill said the company was targeting the European market, but could decide to buy GM canola as the season progressed.

“If the opportunity came up to trade GM canola, we would and we have done that in the past, ” he said.

“But at the moment, we’re focused on Europe being one of our key markets. There are premiums coming out of Europe for non-GM canola, so that makes more sense to us.”

Mr Haddrill said 95 per cent of WA’s canola went to Europe last year and given the dry conditions across much of northern Europe, demand would likely be high again this season.

Across other grain traders, GM canola is generally being taken and although the price spread could change as the season progresses, significant discounts are likely to continue.

Gavilon currently has a $40 discount for GM canola and AWB has a $30 discount.
Viterra has GM canola bidding at $45 below non-GM and Emerald at $30 below.